Turmeric or golden spice is grown natively in Asia and Central America. It is the most common spice you will find in every household in India. Turmeric gives beautiful & vibrant yellow color to the curries. Along with it, turmeric is known for its health benefits.
People had been using turmeric, both fresh and powdered, since an ancient period. It is loaded with antioxidants that help to fight many diseases for a long time. And now researchers have started to appreciate these benefits, which are due to the active compound curcumin.
Here is the list of benefits you can ensue from turmeric.
- Increase antioxidants in the body
Oxidative stress invites various problems in the body, including free radical damage. Free radicals are mainly present in industrial chemicals, cigarette smoke, etc. The bioactive component in turmeric, curcumin, is an excellent antioxidant that will help to reduce oxidative stress and neutralize free radical damage.
- Anti-inflammatory properties
While acute inflammation is integral for the body to fight & repair the cells & tissues, chronic inflammation can lead to harmful diseases like heart problems, cancer, etc. As per Arthritis Foundation, turmeric is effective in reducing inflammation better than Aspirin, Advil.
- May support heart health
Turmeric plays a significant role in protecting us from various heart diseases. It helps to improve endothelial function, a thin membrane covering the heart’s inside and blood vessels. Endothelial regulate blood pressure, clotting, etc., which are key risk factors of heart diseases.
- Ease symptoms of osteoarthritis
As per a study published in 2021, scientists have found that arthritis patients respond positively to turmeric. Curcumin has helped reduce stiffness and pain in the joints and improve their function due to its anti-inflammatory nature. In a clinical study, patients who took 40gm nano curcumin capsules every 12 hours felt relieved after six weeks.
- Prevent diabetes
Few animal studies have found that turmeric is beneficial to prevent type 1 and type 2 diabetes by decreasing blood sugar levels & increasing plasma insulin. However, it lacks human research.
- May protect from cancer
Defined by the abnormal growth of cells in a particular part of the body, cancer is one of the diseases that have no concrete treatment. However, many studies have found that curcumin might be effective to restrict cancer growth and development.
Curcumin is one of the natural anti-depressants and can also help to improve brain neurotransmitters serotonin. In a randomized study, people who took 1gm curcumin for six weeks showed fared improvement than others.
- Age-related chronic diseases
Although no specific researches are performed to confirm the effect of turmeric on longevity, if turmeric is helpful to protect against inflammation, heart disease, cancer, etc., it potentially helps prevent age-related chronic diseases like brain degeneration.
How to use turmeric?
- Give color to your curries
A pinch of turmeric can give your dal (lentil) or curries like chicken curry, potato curry, etc., pleasing color and enhanced flavor.
- Add it your milk
People have been drinking turmeric milk for a long time. Grate some fresh turmeric in the milk and bring it to a boil. Tada! Your golden milk is ready.
- Make a spice rub
You can mix turmeric with other spices like pepper, cumin, garlic, etc., to make a spice rub for lip-smacking barbequed tofu, mutton, paneer, etc.
- Skin & hair
You can make a face mask with turmeric and curd. It will help to reduce pigmentation and provide lustrous skin.
The Bottom Line
Turmeric has come far off, from being used in traditional medicines to being scientifically proven to be effective against diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart problems, depression, etc. You can add turmeric to your diet with simple recipes and take advantage of this super herb.